Utah AG’s Office willing to offer immunity for info on ‘secret deal’ in child bride’s lawsuit

Posted at 11:59 AM, May 30, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Attorney General’s Office is asking a judge to let it intervene in a former FLDS child bride’s $40 million lawsuit against Warren Jeffs.

In a motion filed Friday and obtained by FOX 13, the Utah Attorney General’s Office said it plans to investigate allegations of a “secret deal” between Elissa Wall and her ex-husband, Allen Steed.

The attorney general’s office said it is even willing to offer immunity to Steed to get the truth.

“While Wall has denied claims of a conspiracy to defraud, Steed has refused to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Unlike the Fiduciary, it is within the Attorney General’s discretion to grant immunity from prosecution to Steed or others who may have knowledge about the settlement agreement, but have concerns that they may incriminate themselves by disclosing such knowledge,” assistant Utah Attorney General David Wolf wrote.

Read the filing by the Utah Attorney General’s Office here:

Wall is suing Warren Jeffs, the FLDS Church and its financial arm, the United Effort Plan (UEP) Trust, for as much as $40 million over her marriage at age 14 to her cousin, Steed, in a ceremony presided over by Jeffs.

Lawyers for the court-controlled UEP Trust want Wall’s lawsuit tossed, alleging she struck a deal with Steed that she would go easy on him in his criminal prosecution if he didn’t cooperate with the people she was suing.

The Utah Supreme Court recently agreed to hear an appeal by the UEP Trust on other issues.

The UEP, with an estimated $110 million in assets, controls most of the property in the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah; and Colorado City, Ariz. The Utah Attorney General’s Office asked the courts to take it over in 2005 over allegations Jeffs and other FLDS leaders mismanaged it.

Wall’s lawsuit has already sparked other investigations. The Utah Attorney General’s Office is in the midst of a criminal probe into an ex-FLDS leader who admitted in a deposition to marrying underage girls.